One treatment option that will most likely be missing from their assessment: cannabis.
Technically, a January report by the National Academy of Sciences found there was no real proof that marijuana is an effective treatment for opioid abuse. But as The New York Times reported last month, doctors are increasingly turning to cannabis to wean addicts off of harder drugs. Some treatment programs are even embracing weed right alongside the 12 steps.
Luckily, the East Bay is nowhere near as devastated by the opioid crisis as, say, anywhere in West Virginia. But addiction is still a huge problem here, so much so that local needle-exchange programs have started giving out naloxone, a drug that counteracts the effects of an overdose, according to the East Bay Times.
Starting April 19, doctors and scientists will converge in Oakland for Psychedelic Science 2017, a six-day conference that will explore new research into drugs such as medical marijuana (plus LSD, MDMA, and a bunch of other fun stuff). UC Berkeley lecturer and Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission member Amanda Reiman will give a talk on cannabis as an opiate substitute during the six-day event. She’ll present the results of a study on prescription substitution rates co-sponsored by the university and Hello MD, an online MMJ recommendation provider.
And even Warriors coach Steve Kerr has come out in support of medical marijuana, citing cannabis as a replacement for the dangerous pharmaceuticals that kickoff addiction. “If you do any research at all, the stuff they’re prescribing is really bad for you,” he told CSN’s Bay Area podcast last December, listing Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet as the culprits.
“The stuff that they’re banning,” — i.e. marijuana — “is fine.”